There once were many

Once upon a time, there were numerous companies near the Port of Montreal that supplied equipment and provisions to ships. These companies supplied sailors with all kinds of items: food, utensils, rope, lamps, clothes, medication, hardware, navigational tools, and so on. Today, only a few remain: Clipper Ship Supply, Seagulf Marine Industries and McGill Maritime Services. The Karlo Group has set up shop in the east end of the city, near Viau St. 

You can hardly recognize de la Commune St.; it looks more like the countryside in this photo of the Seagulf warehouse. But, yes, at the time the Seagulf warehouse was indeed located at 1052 de la Commune St., near Peel St., facing the Lachine Canal. It was a strategic location for supplying ships that used the canal to reach the Great Lakes before the St. Lawrence Seaway was built. Seagulf moved to Mill St. in 1979. Photos courtesy Robert Zeagman.

Today, the Bonaventure Expressway crosses over this location. The banks of the Lachine Canal have become an area where people can relax, walk, run and cycle. Photo: Port of Montreal


Craig and Keith Bishop are the owners of Clipper Ship Supply. Their father founded the company, which supplies marine equipment to ships. Monstad was located at 366 de la Place D’Youville, next to the Grey Nuns’ convent. The Monstad building, visible on the left-hand side of this painting, no longer exists. Clipper is now located on Mill St., in front of a small bridge that crosses the Lachine Canal lock. Artwork property of Craig and Keith Bishop.


Back in the day, the neighbourhoods near the port were buzzing with activity. Numerous small suppliers such as Gabriel’s, located at 351 St. Paul St., were set up to be near their clients – ships. Extracted from Montreal: Canada’s Largest Port. 1962. P. 92

The building at 129 de la Commune St. still bears the markings of its previous vocation: “Supply centre. Cash purchases”! Photo: Port of Montreal






James Wilson & Co. was located at 731 de la Commune St. Extracted from: Montreal Port Annual Centenary Souvenir and Reference, 100 Years of Progress. 1930.



The building that housed the James Wilson warehouse will soon be converted into condominiums.







Located at 214 de la Place D’Youville, Townsend Company also supplied ships docked in the Port of Montreal. Photo : Musée Pointe-à-Callière






McGill Maritime Services, at 369 de la Place D’Youville, is among the equipment suppliers still located near the port. Photo: Google


This article has been produced with the collaboration of Musée Pointe-à-Callière.